Monday, June 11, 2018


The U.S. Constitution should be interpreted and applied according to the original meaning communicated to the public by the words of the text.


For the affirmative:

Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center and the director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. His books include Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People and Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty. After taking a JD from Harvard Law School, he  worked as a prosecutor in Chicago. Barnett is a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute.

For the negative:

Michael C. Dorf is Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School. He is the editor, author, or co-author of six books, including On Reading the Constitution, with co-author Laurence Tribe. Since 2000, Dorf has written a bi-weekly column, currently appearing on Justia’s Verdict. He also posts less formal legal analysis several times per week on his blog, DorfonLaw. After taking a JD from Harvard Law School, he served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States.